Czech Republic extends lease of Gripen planes

The Czech government has approved the agreement to continue its lease of 14 Gripen fighter planes, news agency TT reports.

The agreement means the country will be flying the Swedish planes at least until 2026. The Czech Republic has been leasing the planes since 2004 and was the first country to start flying Jas Gripen outside Sweden. The current contract would have ended next year, but will now be extended. In addition to the planes, it also included training and an upgrade of the fighter jet.

"This is very important. It means we can share the costs for everything from engineers who are developing the system in the planes, to spare parts, training and salary to the matron at F7 where pilots from both countries are trained," Ulf Hammarström, general director at the Swedish Defence and Security Exports Agency, told TT.